Andy Reid coached for 21 seasons as an NFL head coach, 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and seven seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He led the Eagles to the Super Bowl once, and he now leads the Chiefs to this year’s Super Bowl LIV.
He achieved success as a head coach by turning around two moribund franchises into Super Bowl contenders and being in seventh for most regular season wins in NFL history at 207. In this day and age, a head coach lasting this long in a league that discard coaches after a few years should make all of this impressive.
He claims he has zero regrets, but he is not fooling anyone. He knows he lacks that one big thing on his impressive resume: A Super Bowl championship.
Sunday presents another opportunity for the Chiefs head coach. He last participated in the Super Bowl as the Eagles head coach in February 2005, and it did not go well for him since the Eagles lost to the New England Patriots in part of his time mismanagement down the stretch and his quarterback Donovan McNabb apparently threw up in the final few minutes.
This could be his best chance. This maybe his last chance. In an AFC conference that features Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, opportunities are few and far between of getting to the Super Bowl and getting another championship. Just because he has Patrick Mahomes at quarterback that can win games on his own, there’s no guarantee. He realized that by making only one Super Bowl appearance as an Eagles head coach with a good quarterback in his own right in McNabb.
Reid’s story makes him the sentimental favorite to win the Super Bowl. For all the work he put into his craft, his former players, his current players, Eagles fans, his former bosses like to see him hoist the Lombardi Trophy. He’s such a likeable fellow based on him treating his players well and getting the most out of them.
Eagles fans in the Delaware Valley and around the country express rooting interest in Reid for what he has meant to the Eagles franchise when he took over in 1999. He brought structure, credibility and winning for a long time. He made this franchise achieve sustained success. This explains why Philadelphia’s SportsRadio 94 WIP had an Andy Reid Appreciation Day on Thursday.
Most football coaches take themselves way too seriously. Some act like they invented the game of football. Some treat press conferences as if this is a CIA meeting. Some behaved like jerks. Some can be a blowhard such as Rex Ryan. Reid does not fit that description, and that is refreshing. Same can also be said for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who is also worthy of hoisting the trophy.
For Reid, time is of the essence. He is 61 years old. He may have five or six great years left in him as a head coach. He may not even coach that long. After losing his son to heroin overdose once, he may want to spend the rest of his life with his grandchildren while they are still young. He earned that right to spend time with his family while he is in good health after grinding it out as a football coach for a long time.
For all we know, he may just retire after he wins the Super Bowl on Sunday. It would be a great way to cap off a great career that should put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He hasn’t expressed the need to walk away, but after all these years and winning a Super Bowl to cap it off, it wouldn’t be out of the question, either.
Reid tried his best by trying not to make this about him. He felt this moment should be about his football team and his players. He thought of all this adulation of him as humbling on Thursday, but he knows better. Sports fans love being suckers of a good story. Sportswriters and the rest of the media members love a juicy storyline.
This year’s Super Bowl is more about him than Mahomes.
If the Chiefs head coach couldn’t get to the big game with Mahomes, it was not meant to be, but here he is with the opportunity to finish the chapter of his great career and maybe finish off with a great legacy.
Reid made it a point to enjoy this Super Bowl experience this time around unlike last time. Time and age can do that to a person. He knows this has been a reflection of what a great season the Chiefs had this season and the process the team went through these last few seasons to get to where they are today.
All of that is left for him to do is win Sunday.
If he can’t get it done, one has to wonder if it ever will happen for him.